The island of Koh Phra Thong is an idyllic unspoilt wilderness just north of Khao Lak on Thailand’s Andaman coast. A place where you can truly escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
No noise except the gentle waves lapping the empty beach and early morning birdsong, no crowds, no shops, just you, a hut on the beach, a hammock, with crystal clear water and pristine coral reefs just a short snorkel away.
Koh Phra Thong is 120km north of Phuket and while it’s only 43km from bustling Khao Lak, it takes a bus, boat and 4WD transfer to get here, so by the time you get here you feel very remote. The island is relatively flat, with thick mangroves facing a meandering lagoon system on one side and white sandy beaches on the other.
Back in the 90s there were a few emerging resorts here, but most were destroyed by the 2004 tsunami, along with several nearby villages, and it’s taken a long time to rebuild. 10 years later a few new resorts have opened their doors, and visitors to the island now will find an island almost frozen in time, a snapshot of coastal village life in Thailand many years ago.
If you get bored of lazing in a hammock or strolling along the pristine beach, there are several options available for nature lovers. Birdwatchers will love a sunrise 4WD tour of the island’s savannah, an expansive golden grassland where you can watch the sunrise over mountains in distant Khao Sok National Park while the birds awaken all around you.
You can also grab a kayak and explore Koh Pra Thong and the fringing reefs of two nearby small islands Koh Pling Lek and Koh Pling Yai, or go further afield by long tail boat to Kho Khai to snorkel through coral gardens full of colourful sea fans.
Trips to the local fishing village and turtle sanctuary are also on offer, as well as night fishing excursions on the squid fishing boats or to the nearby Pling Islands.
At the southern end of the beach at the Golden Buddha Retreat, you can attend yoga and meditation classes,, and at the northern end, grab a fantastic Thai meal at Moken Eco Village.
Where to stay
Moken Eco Village is a boutique resort with a handful of bungalows, each powered by solar panels on the roof. There’s no air conditioning, but the bungalows are cooled naturally, being raised on stilts, with louvre windows and two ceiling fans.
Your four-poster bed has a mosquito net, and there are fly screens on all windows so you won’t be bothered by insects while you sleep. The huts all have a raised veranda for lounging on, and there are hammocks dotted throughout the gardens.
There are 12 bungalows, with a few different configurations. Some that suit couples, and one large duplex for families or larger groups.
The resort will organise longtail boat transfers from Khura Buri, the nearest port. Khura Buri is about an hour’s journey by bus or taxi from Khao Lak. Transfers via overnight coach are also available from Bangkok. More information